Addressing the Specific Needs of Teens and Dating Abuse

Last summer, Family Shelter instituted a domestic violence program geared specifically to teens. Since then, children of Family Shelter clients have attended the group, which runs between 12 and 16 weeks, and is coordinated by PEACE Prevention Educator Joy Tanimura-Winquist and Children’s Services Coordinator Laura Nordensten.

“Many of our clients have mentioned concern for their adolescents as they enter dating age — middle school through high school,” said Tanimura-Winquist. “It’s something we consider preventative and we have decided that the best way to approach it is with a support group format. We cover family dynamics, resilience-building, healthy communication and cultivating healthy relationships. Oftentimes, teens just want to have someone to talk things through with who aren’t their parents. We are offering a safe place for them to discuss relevant and sometimes difficult topics given their experiences.”